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Thursday, 8 March 2012


Just ... awww.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Reality Check 18th Century Style

While researching for a comic I'm making for the street magazine Megafon, I came across some rather beautiful quotes from Samuel Johnson, which I for one would do good to contemplate every once in a while. Thought I'd just share some of them today. Enjoy!

 Samuel Johnson, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, c. 1772
Picture from here

"The fountain of content must spring up in the mind; and ... he, who has so little knowledge of human nature, as to seek happiness by changing any thing, but his own dispositions, will waste his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the griefs which he purposes to remove."

"Every man may grow rich by contracting his wishes, and by quiet acquiescence in what has been given him, supply the absence of more."

"The pleasure of expecting enjoyment is often greater than that of obtaining it."

"We see every day the unexpected death of our friends and our enemies, we see new graves hourly opened for men older and younger than our selves, for the cautious and the careless, the dissolute and the temperate, for men who like us were providing to enjoy or improve hours now irreversibly cut off: we see all this, and yet, instead of living, let year glide after year in preparations to live."

Monday, 13 February 2012

Treasures From London

 I went to London. I shopped.

We all know my husband is the most knowlegable and sensible person on the planet, and now it turns out he is the most amazing and generous one as well. Last Tuesday, for my birthday, he produced plane tickets to London, and on Thursday I was whisked away for a long weekend of shopping, friends and fun! I stayed with my friend Anna, and we met up with our friend Ellie for wine and catch-up. I was worried I'd shopped too much and would have to pay overweight when going home, but as it turned out I could in fact have bought 5 kilos more of stuff, so I'll just have to go back soon to make up for that. Anyhow, here are my little treasures! (And no, I didn't buy any clothes)

Nice stuff from the Benefit shop in Shoreditch.

Nappy from Beauty and the Bib, Greenwich Village.

Yeah, I know they're Tesco ones, but they're still delicious. (Because you don't go to London without buying your favourite biscuits in the whole wide world no matter what your New Year's resolution is)

This was my birthday present from my friend Ellie! Napkins, tissues, fairy cake cases and lovely party bunting!

1st present for husband: Cock o' the Walk, a "very malty beer" according to the stall keeper in Borough Market.

A lovely notebook from Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road.

Great coffee (whole beans) from Monmouth Coffee Company at Borough Market.

Cute espresso cups from an equally cute little shop on Colombia Road, Shoreditch.

"Keep calm and carry on"-pisstake mug from Nauticalia in Greenwich Village.

My friend Anna has a pitch at a Hackney market, and was given these tote bags to give to her customers. I got one too!

Lovely calendar for 2012.

Little Moomin books from the gallery shop at Tate Modern.

Another note book from Paperchase, perfect for writing down all my recipes.

Perry pear cider, 2nd present for hubby.

Cute little purse for my pounds from Accessorize at Gatwick airport.

Postcards galore! Some are from the gallery shop at Tate Modern, the rest are from Paperchase.

More postcards - the "sew it yourself" one is made by Anna's brother Martin.

Cool bibs for my son! From Beauty and the Bib.

A lunch box and flask for kindergarten! My son will be the coolest kid in town with these, bought at Beauty and the Bib and Urban Outfitters.

Delicious tea from Harrod's at Gatwick airport.

Beautiful mobile from the same shop I got the espresso cups.

Now I just need to buy a heap of frames from IKEA so those lovely postcards can go on the wall! Thank you, hubby, for my amazing 30th birthday present!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Go Shawty, It's My Birthday!

Hooray for me! Now I can finally say I'm a woman in her 30s, married to a twenty-something man. I've been looking forward to that!

30! Dang, I'd better start behaving.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Mandatory Year Review

These are up on so many blogs these days, so I figured I'd do a year review too so I could be cool like them. Plus they're fun to do, and make me sound interesting. Bonus!


1. What did you do in 2011 that you've never done before? So. Many. Things. I could start off by saying "giving birth", but I'm afraid that will be repeated so many times in this review that it'll get boring, so instead I'll say "write a book". Because I did. Not a very good one, but still, a 50,000 word document is nicely tucked away in my NaNoWriMo folder on my laptop.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? To be honest with you, I can't remember what resolutions I had for 2011. I remember saying to someone "yeah I was planning on becoming a mom, and then ... being a mom." So I kept those. And I've already written a blog post about my resolutions for 2012.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Apart from the obvious (me), there were five women who are either good friends or close relatives (and I count cousins as "close") who had babies in 2011.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes, my grandmother. It was very sad, because she died only a month before my son was born, so she never got to see him. On the other hand, she was 92 and ready for death.

5. What countries did you visit? Spain! Bloody lovely.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn't have in 2011? Proper sleeeeep.

7. What date(s) from 2011 will you remember and why? The reasons are obvious, but I'll never forget my son's birthday and the date of his welcome party.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I'm not going to write "give birth". I'm NOT. So I'll go with the career category instead - I had one of my comics published in a very popular comics magazine in Norway, Pondus. My brain really is blank for most of 2011 (see question 6), so there might be something I've missed.

9. What was your biggest failure? That I didn't turn out the fit, healthy, outdoorsy mum I envisaged when I got pregnant. I blame pelvic girdle pain and double-sided knee tendonitis (I had my very last physio therapist session today, yay!), and absolutely disgusting weather.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? A couple of colds. Also, see previous question.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Oooh man, there are so many things! Which should I choose? The Mountain Buggy Terrain stroller? My new hiking boots? My new telephone? No, I'll go for the camera. I'm not a photographer but with a camera this good and my awesome Photoshop skills, I can get away with not taking my kid to a horribly expensive photo studio.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? My entire village, and people in the neighbouring villages too, when everyone joined forces and gave a young couple a new place to live. They had their firstborn, a daughter, on Christmas Eve and two days later their house burned to the ground, and they lost everything they owned. Thankfully they were still in hospital, including the dad, so no-one got hurt. When they came home from the hospital they had a temporary house to live in, clothes for themselves, baby equipment, toiletries, food, even a Christmas tree - and enough baby clothes to start their own shop. It was so horrible - and so amazing. I take my hat off!

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? I'm not the kind of person who tell names like that, so even if there are several that spring to mind, I'll keep them to myself. Oh, except Statnett. Don't ask. Just read about it.

14. Where did most of your money go? Baby clothes, baby equipment, baby food, baby this, baby that. Babies are expensives! But still better than computers.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Do you need to ask? Hint: starts with a 'b'. Ends with a 'aby'.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2011? My son's lullaby. (You'll need Spotify to listen)

17. Compared to this time last year you are ... about 15 kilos lighter.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Sleeping. Sleeeping. It really is underestimated.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Play "Farm Frenzy 2" on my mobile.

20. Did you fall in love in 2011? Yes. With my baby boy. Totally head over heels. Amazing. I'll write a blog post one day about how your own child is the most perfect child in the world and how all other babies look a little weird when you're full of post-pregnancy-hormones. Because it's totally true.

21. How many one-night stands? Haha, this question is redundant! Now and forever. I'm not that kind of person, plus I'm married.

22. What was your favourite tv program? Well, I don't have a tv, but my husband and I did enjoy "Ikke gjør dette hjemme" on NRK nett-tv, which translates to "Don't do this at home", in which two guys have fun trying to destroy a house in as many different ways as possible. Setting fire to a pan of boiling oil did the trick in the end.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't this time last year? No, I don't think so. But 'hate' is a strong word. I prefer 'dislike'.

24. What was the best book you read? The first in the Hunger Games series. It really is the best one of the trilogy. The other two are good reads as well, but they depend so much on that first one, on the fact that you already love the characters. Sorry, Divergent, but it just so happened I read both books in one year, and I liked Hunger Games best.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? That children's songs can be sweet and beautiful, not just silly and embarassing. And that what classifies as children's music is sort of in the eye (or ear!) of the beholder.

26. What did you want and get? I got pretty much everything I wanted, and then some! It was truly a year of generosity all round.

27. What was your favourite film of the year? I didn't get to see many films, and I think I only went to the cinema once. So I'll put that - the last film of the Harry Potter series.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Uhm ... dang, what did I do? I can't remember! Oh, what was it ... yep, my brain had left me already then. But I was 29. Old age clearly is getting to me. Dementia, here I come.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Having that dang bathroom ready for when the baby arrived. But as he arrived 2 (3) weeks early and the tilers were so friggin' slow, we had to make do with a changing table in the kitchen. Eww. Oh, and you know, being the fit, healthy outdoorsy mum that I went on about in question 9.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Tent.

31. What kept you sane? My husband.

32. What celebrity/public figure did you fancy? I suppose it's a merit to my husband's hotness that I can't think of any!

33. What political issue stirred you the most? See question 13. Oh, and the neverending "it wasn't my fault for raping that woman, because she had a short skirt on"-bullshit that some men still think is okay. Big issue of debate in Norway in 2011, hope it will continue to be so in 2012.

34. Who did you miss? My grandmother. I got to see pretty much everyone else as they came to meet the baby.

35. Who was the best new person you met? My neighbours Magda and Janusz!

36. Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2011. Always keep backup of all your photos somewhere else than in your house. See question 12.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: I don't think anyone's written a song that can sum up 2011 for me! Describe a mother's love for her newborn accurately so that everyone can understand, and I'll quote that.

So there you have it! How was YOUR year?

Sunday, 8 January 2012

First Shopping Revelation

As the modern, hi-tech and lazy person that I am, I do a lot of my shopping online. Because of this, I regularly receive clothes catalogues from a couple of companies. It's only the 8th of January, which means we're technically not even half way through winter, but true to form the new spring catalogues have arrived, full of tan, skinny people on the beach, promoting clothes in bright colours.

Even though my New Year's resolution is to not buy clothes for myself this year, I had a flip through to see what I'll miss out on.

Not much.

Which leads me to speculate. How would it be if I didn't have that New Year's resolution? Would I have found something I liked in the catalogues then? And here's a bit of shopper psychology that I made up all by myself but that I think is pretty accurate: When people have the chance to buy something, they feel they might miss out if they don't. Every year when new catalogues arrive, I dog-ear pages and cross out things that are "pretty nice" or "will be fun to wear if the weather is just right and I'm on a beach". Because I've felt I'm missing out if I choose not to buy anything, I've bought something simply for buying's sake.

Now that I'm not burdened by the opportunity to shop, I can admit to myself that, actually, none of the clothes appeal to me.

That, or it's just shitty design this year.
Lucky for me.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Well bing bong diddly dong, it's New Year's Eve! Time to make some ridicolously overambitious resolutions! I have two for 2012, and I intend to keep them. Here they are:


Photo from here, stencil by ConsumeHastaMorir

I live in a society where consumption is not limited to food but also includes all other commodities, luxuries and indulgences known to man. In Norway it is not uncommon to find perfectly functioning flat-screen tvs on the skip, because their owners bought new, bigger ones. Or you might find a one year old sofa at the thrift store, simply because someone grew tired of it and wanted a new one. Or the lost/found objects box at the pub grows fuller and fuller because whoever owns the forgotten scarves and gloves can't be bothered to collect them. Only we don't think too often about the people who make all our things, and what conditions they live in. I won't go into detail about that, you can just go here instead to see how many slaves you have working for you. I have 58.

I am one of those people who buy clothes mainly because they are cheap. It goes something like this:
Me: "I need a new pair of jeans, because the old ones are worn out/don't fit me". Then I go to the shop. "Man, jeans are expensive. I'll have to think about it for a while. Maybe I can use my old ones a little longer." Then I pass by the sales rack. "Ooo, look at this jumper! It's quite nice! And it's 30% off. I'll get it." Then I buy a jumper I don't really need, instead of the pair of jeans I actually need, and if I'd just saved the money from those 5 tops that were cheap, I would have had enough money for those jeans anyway.

So basically I want to jump-start my common shopping-sense, learn to make do with what I have (which is, I should say, a modest amount of clothes, at least in these parts of the world), redesigning old things and saving some money on top of it all.

*Clothes for my son. This is obvious. He is 9 months, he needs new clothes on a regular basis.
*One pair of spring/summer shoes. I have a single pair of trainers. That's IT. I kid you not. I bought them in New York in 2008.
*One pair of autumn/winter shoes. This is not strictly necessairy, but I only have hiking boots to use in the winter. So I will only buy these if I find a pair I really like.
*Necessairy underwear. I've stocked up but you never know.


Photo by Blaine Kendall, from here

Well. Do you really need one? I want to get healthier. Sweets/candy includes soda pops, crisps/chips, cakes, biscuits and so on. I'll become a fruit freak. High on life and caffeine.

*Did you see what I did in the headline up there? I said "buy". Not "eat". There is a good reason for this. I will not buy sweets myself, neither will my husband (at least so he says). But if I go to visit someone and they offer me cake/chocolate/biscuits etc, I want to be able to accept. But I won't throw myself at the bowl and wolf it down, either.
*17th of May (Norway day). Oh, come on! It's the one day of the year where eating as much ice cream as you can without vomiting is practically mandatory.
*Birthdays. CAKE!
*Hallowe'en. Because the neighbourhood kids shouldn't have to dress up for nothing.
*Christmas and Easter. But in moderation.
*Stuff I make myself. Which will eliminate most of my sweet-consumption, which is often spontaneous and due to low blood sugar. Baking takes too long to be spontaneous.

So there you have it! There's only seven hours left of 2011, the greatest year of my life so far, and 2012 will be even better! Happy New Year!